For the last four years, Russ Rowland has been faithfully attending his church's weekly early morning Men's Fraternity at Christ's Church of the Valley in San Dimas, California along with almost three hundred other guys.
No one in this group dares to ever complain about the challenge of having to wake up early to attend Men's Fraternity. At least they don't after they meet Russ. 22 years ago, Russ was injured in an athletic accident which destroyed his C1 and C2 vertebrae and severed his spinal cord. Today, he is a full quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair and respirator. Yet Russ, his wife and his caregiver get up weekly at 3:00 a.m. to begin the process necessary to have Russ at his regular spot each week for Men's Fraternity.
Russ has single handily removed the "I am not a morning person" excuse from any man who might want to use it for why they don't come to Men's Fraternity. Russ says, "I never wake up in the morning and think, my God, what I am going to do today. Instead, quite often, I will go to bed at night thinking, my God, I didn't get this or that done today! I may need to get up earlier tomorrow!"
Russ has not only faithfully completed all three years of the Men's Fraternity curriculum, he is actually repeating the cycle again, taking responsibility, and inviting and bringing other men through the study. He is becoming a life coach actually mentoring half a dozen younger guys.
His wife gushes when she talks about his growth as a husband.
Climbing the Mountain of Manhood can be difficult. Russ's determination to make the journey and take others with him is far greater than the difficulty he faces.